Saturday, June 26, 2010

ME and SHE (so improper)

I think a good lot of people would look at this image and say wow that is not a great photo...

And they would be wrong.

This photo is the picture of perfection. There is nothing more beautiful...

I sometimes sit and stare at it. Happy tears well up. (just a little) She's looking at me with her ocean blue eyes. Our hands clasped together and she smiles. I am smiling back at her. She trusts me. Not that I deserve it, but oh how it means the world to me.

It's a story of love and second chances and a heart full to the brim with gratitude.

I'd like to say thank you for all the kind words sent my way. Not that I deserve that either... but still I am thankful. It's nice to think maybe people aren't hating me for such stupidity even if I still am. It's going to take a bit to shake this one off. Hopefully I won't shake it all the way off. Perhaps it's there for a reason.

So this was June 22nd. Two days after...

My mom let Kassidy and Natalie spend the night at her house (their dream come true) So we had Lucy all to ourselves. We took her to lunch at Jason Deli. She loves that place, mostly because of the complimentary ice cream :)

And then we took her to see Toy Story 3 in 3-D. It was really cute. She sat on my lap with her 3-D glasses looking like a little movie star the whole time.

After that I thought it would make me feel good to get out and shoot. We decided we must go check out Tempe Town Lake. There wasn't much sun left when we got there but kudos to Chad for grabbing the tripod!! Doing things feels better than not doing things. Just always remember that ok?!?!

There's something that's been bugging me for a while now. Since Sunday it's crossed my mind nearly a thousand times...

We don't have a family picture.

I know, it's really sad. Not to mention pathetic!

Jill's first things first list...

a. Soak in all the things that matter.

b. Family photo.

c. Doesn't matter.

Have a nice weekend!! :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

it's completely unbearable to think about. I wish I wasn't thinking of it right now.

But it's all I can think about at the moment.

Lots of blank staring. and crying. headaches. I cancelled my photography group shoot that was supposed to be this morning. I hadn't slept all night.

This comes from the lowest of low places in my life. I never want to be here again.

somethings are so very personal I can't be sure if it's shareable. I'm not sure if this is one of those things or not. Keep reading and you will see why I choose to do so.

After the lights went out and the T.V. was shut off and it finally became very silent, I lay in bed just sobbing. I didn't want to say it out loud. I didn't want to say anything, but especially not this.

chad, We almost lost Lucy today.


She's ok, he says

But she almost wasn't! It was close. Too close. Way too close.

Yesterday lucy fell asleep in the car on the way to wish chad's dad a happy father's day. She was left by accident in the hot car. I don't even know how long she was in there. I don't know what time it was when we got there, or when we left our house. Looking at the clock after discovering her didn't tell me anything, but it was a while.

Lucy must have some very devoted angles looking after her. I've ran this through my head a million times. I don't know how we escaped life altering misery. Only by the grace of God is all I can come up with.

If Lancee hadn't decided to leave when she did... or if Lucy hadn't been crying when she was... I can't bear to let my mind wander there even one more time. She'd be gone. I wouldn't have even wondered where she was, because in my mind she was playing with her cousins back in the toy room. There's nothing odd about that.

She said she wasn't crying in there very long, he tells me...

that makes me feel worse actually. To me that just means we were even closer than I thought. If she hadn't started crying yet... or if she gave up...

I was talking about this to my sister a couple of weeks ago. We said "it happens when schedules change, and things out of the ordinary take place."

it's true. We don't ordinarily visit Chad's parents on Sunday. And if we do there aren't ordinarily tons of people there, and Chad doesn't ordinarily grumble at me for parking too close to the wall, and Kassidy doesn't ordinarily bang the car door into the wall which makes it worse, and Tawna doesn't ordinarily pull up behind us and Razz us about not being able to leave until She decides to...

But one thing that does ordinarily happen is in the late afternoon if you put Lucy in the car she immediately falls asleep. And would you believe I was just telling Trevor that earlier that very day when he asked if she still takes naps?...

There is an amazing photographer who is an amazing person who lost an amazing little girl in a very similar way. I don't follow very many blogs, I would say there's about 3 total I look at all the time and all others I read only every so often. Sheye's is one blog I always read. I've been following her for years now. I love to look at her work and I love to read her words. She is very genuine. I often cry reading her posts. I cried the other day reading her most recent post in fact. I think of her loss, what she has to bear, and the circumstance surrounding her tragedy often. This is never far from my mind, so how did this happen to me?

I remember her describing how crystal clear the happenings of that day are to her. How she remembers every little detail she would have otherwise forgotten. And you know what? I think something similar happens when it comes so very close to you.

I see Lucy in daddy's arms and her head is sweaty and I see the braid, and like a haunting echo I remember leaning over to my sister who was blessing her baby in church that day, and saying sarcastically, who did Lucy's hair today? It looked terrible. It was me, I did it, though I didn't say so. So when she came close to ask me for some candy I snatched her up and pulled her hair out of the pony and put a little french braid in the front and then ponied it back up. It looked 100x's better. And When she came back for candy again she had the flower from Natalie's hair sitting right on top of her head. I thought it looked silly plopped right on top. it didn't go with her dress what-so-ever. But silly as it was I left it there, because in a way it was so adorable. And there it still sat, atop her sweaty little head. Glad to see it bobbling around.

and I thought of the video I took of her earlier that day at Stacey's house. She gave me the grumpiest look. And she held up one of Kallie's baby dolls and asked if she could please have one of those for her half birthday. And I lay there thinking that could have so easily been the last capture of my precious baby girl. And i think of the video I was taking minutes before she was discovered and I remember thinking how fun this would be to look at in a few years when the kids on it are a bit older, She was out in the car crying her eyes out and I was inside videoing what would have been the most painful footage ever to watch. And I would never have ever watched it.

little things kept popping in my mind.

like when I walked into the kitchen and saw her cup of milk sitting on the counter right where she placed it after asking for milk. I said no. It's because the cup already had milk in it from the first time she asked me for milk that morning. She wanted fresh milk because that milk was rotten... I didn't give her any.

and I remembered how she looked laying on the bed in Natalie's room early that morning. I woke the other girls up to make Chad breakfast at 6:25 am because thats about what time he gets home from work... but I let her sleep.

and how she came and asked me if she could sing "Happy Father's Day" to daddy... I said sure, never heard that song before. She plopped down right at chads feet and sang Happy Father's Day to the happy b-day tune. And it was the cutest thing ever. She had a very serious look on her face.

And how I came home from the blessing and declared to Chad "we need a new car!" he wondered why, and I said, "because our car is too hot!" It's true what they say, black cars really are hotter. It was the hottest day we've had I am pretty sure.

and the Father's day card she made for Grandpa. It was tucked in the pocket of the drivers seat right in front of where she sits in the car. We never made it to that Grandpa's house that night. I never did get to properly say happy Father's day to my dad. I knew I was just going to be a bumbling crying mess for the rest of the night. i didn't even call. Just a short email to my mom with essential details.

and how just the day before we went swimming and we were teaching her how to swim... you know because we don't want her to drown. She was catching on real quick.

I've felt sick all day. I couldn't be madder at myself. I thought maybe it would all feel better in the morning. But it didn't. I cried more. I laid in bed well past noon. I slept on and off. I had a dream. Sheye was in it. I was in Anthropologie, and she came in looking for earrings. i was standing right next to them, i called her over, she said thank you and I walked out so nonchalantly as if it didn't matter at all that I just ran into one of my fav. photogs ever...

Lucy would come in and wake me up every now and again. The one time she whispered to me, I'm sorry I didn't get myself out.

and thats when I decided I had better get out of bed. Perk up you know. For I was so so very blessed. My mom invited us over for a swim and a steak grill. It wasn't as fun as Saturday night but I wasn't laying in bed crying so it was good.

When my mind wanders back to the unbearable thought of what if, then I think... this is an amazing day.

This is an amazing girl!

Lucy Emma Jane. 3 day's after her 4th birthday. Getting ready for her first recital :)

Please be so aware of your babies! it's hot outside and even hotter in the car. Why isn't there something to prevent these things from happening??

Please take a moment to read "Ava's rule" for a larger image click here. Or for more info go here.

Friday, June 18, 2010

fun and fancy { free to dance your little heart out }

Feeling a bit melancholy tonight, I bring you what has been a huge part of our life for the last year.

a day in the life { of a dancer }

It was so awesome that Natalie had a chance to be a part of the Dynamite Express team at Dance Connection Too. I love watching her dance. That girl can move! Oh and Lucy too :)

The girls had their recital last week. That means its over. Finito.

I spent most of the previous day at dress rehearsal. I was so wiped afterwards! I think we got home at like 9:30 PM!! It was crazy insane!! But of course I took that opportunity to play with my camera ALOT! I love this one I got of these ballerina girls!

and of course I can't decide on which processing I prefer. I just really love them both for different reasons!

( notice how she's putting her all into this move... i love it! )

Ok I'm not gonna lie... I was not entirely sure how Lucy would do on stage. You know it can be a little iffy with the young ones. i mean thats hilarious and all, but oh the joy of seeing your 4 year old dancing her heart out on stage! I was giddy to see her up there doing all her moves! And with a smile on her face :)!! oh yes it was divine...

Natalie was a little harder to capture as she was ALWAYS in the back! ( see her clear at the back of the stage... nice form huh?!? )

Once again... nice form... way in the back. I just sayin is all...

These are the "firecrackers" of the team, performing their dance Bend and Snap.

We showered these girls with roses afterward. i am so proud of them. They did so so good.

and so it is now over. or is it...

We decided to let Natalie do dance camp again this summer... this is where it all started for us last year! What have I done?!?!?! I love her being a part of such a great team, I can see how she beams with pride every time she wears her Dynamite Express dance shirt to school, which is alot because lets face it she's a bit of a show-off!! Just ask her to do the splits for you, she will eat it up like candy :) !!

And so why not you ask? Do you really have to ask? it. is. so. expensive.

Try-outs are tomorrow. She will make the team, I am sure of it. Here's a little look at some of todays action...

note: She's' the one with the orange tu-tu on her dance shorts... makes her kinda easy to pick out :)

Oh yeah and I am totally loving the FLIP!

...excuse me while I head to B&N to bury my head in some magazines... chow!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My first FLIP video

Yesterday I bought the FLIP Mino HD.

I needed a video recorder to video Natalie's dance tomorrow, so she can practice it like crazy!!

...cuz tryouts are on Saturday :)

So I had me some fun testing it out...

YES I didn't wear any makeup today, and YES i look scary, and Yes i board (of course :) and Yes I love those shoes (thanks for the shoes ma) and Yes I am the newest member of the video addict club! and YES I am going to get the girls recital pics up by tomorrow (mark my word) and NO... Marley the dog some how didn't make the cut in the video, even though she's in the credits. Sorry Marley, maybe next time!

oh and YES this is the next song I am going to put on my blog... I love it. :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The wonder of 4.

... she was very specific...

I want a doll.
that has a bathtub.
and a diaper.
and a duckie.

The good little angles that follower her around must have been paying extra attention to her every little wish.

We happened to be on our way to the mall and the very first store we came to was a toy store, and in the window was a baby doll sitting in a little pink bathtub wrapped in a towel, wearing a diaper with a little rubber duckie on the shelf...

that toy store was NOT there last time I was at the mall.

This is a true story.

and she is very loved :)

even though she obviously has no clue how to swing a bat!! haha!!!

It wasn't much. But it made her happy. and so I am also happy.

Happy Birthday my sweet darling Lucy!

xoxoxoxo love you :)

p.s.- i may as well add that she pulled the arm off her baby doll the very next day while we were driving around town. The doll is ok but I had a pretty creepy baby doll dream that night. or perhaps I should say nightmare! eeks.

p.s.s- I suppose i should also add that Kassidy and Natalie stayed up late with me and helped me decorate so Lucy would wake up feeling extra special. They did such a cute job and they even made all the birthday hats custom with feathers and a boa! Love you guys :) you're the best big sisters ever!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

i hear GREEN is earth friendly.


three cheers for making progress!!!

( remember... our forever remodeling job ... )

I'm not gonna lie. I'm the indecisive type. I went out and bought a bunch of knobs. I thought ...oh what a wonderful idea, then I can plug them in and SEE which looks the best...

yeah I still don't know :)

WELL actually, I do have a favorite. Unfortunatly my wallet has its own favorite.

We disagree alot.

So tell me... Which one is your favorite?!?!?!

or do you hate them all?

tell me!!!!

I mean, you input is requested and welcomed, thank you :) *sparkle*

p.s. ~ the fantastic little turtle thingy is NOT a knob choice. Natalie made it and she colored it perfectly to match her room :) She tells me she had a boy with an interesting shoe print step on it for just the right shell effect. Way to flirt Natty...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

baby Brandon

Not to be confused with baby Samuel...

(you see I think it may have been a bit confusing, me posting baby boys all over the place)

We had a couple new additions to the family. They are both boys. And they are very close in age!

so happens that this boy belongs to my sister Stacey.

She wanted one of both mommy and daddy's hands in it. This is one of my very favorite!!


you totally broke the family pact to only have girls! And that's probably a good thing :) Brandon is such a soft and squishy little guy, we are going to have so much fun with him!! (I feel like I owe him some fun, or atleast some bum pats, after those few hours of torment!)

love, Jill

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

the differences between passion and obsession

{ an excerpt from a conversation with my hubby }

... inviting you in, mid-convo ...

j: No Chad, you just don't understand. if I am doing something like say washing the counters, I am thinking about it. Ways to be better at it, things I want to try, my logo, my name, an article I've recently read, something someone posted, but at all times thinking about it.

c: I know it's all you talk about.

j: I'm sorry I know I do that and sometimes I'm even thinking im my head, jill... stop talking about it, it's too much, and then it just keeps coming out anyway.

c: that's because you have an obsessive personality.

j: it's not obsessive, it's passionate.

c: it's obsessive. You're like this with everything you do. When it was catering everywhere we went you were always looking for things for your catering business. If we are redecorating a room you find what you want then you obsess about it until you finally give in and get it. Anything you see that you love you obsess over until you get it. it's obsessive.

j: no. It's passion. You're just not seeing the bigger picture here. If there's one thing you know about me it's that i dislike ordinary, I reject the mundane and in no way will i ever buy something i only half like. Ever. I don't want a job that just pays the bills, I want to LIVE every moment of my life and I want to be EXCITED about it. Really excited about it! and when I look back on all this i want to feel as though i did something useful and not just anything but something I WANTED and CHOSE. And I want to do it very well. And of course i want to surround myself with beauty, I love to sit amongst beautiful things. It's such a peaceful happy feeling to be surrounded by beauty.

c: sounds obsessive to me.

j: well it's not. There is a difference you know...

(enter Lucy needing a drink for the bazillionth time, exit me towards kitchen to get her that drink she so needs again)

Chad follows

I notice how dirty the counters are and begin washing them

j: ok so I've been thinking, we need more magazines! I want to get a whole bunch and pull out all the inspiring images and pin them to the wall so i can look at them and always be inspired.

c: pin them on what wall???

j: on walls in our house (how is that even a question?!?!?)

c: you're starting to remind me of those t.v. shows where the psycho is obsessed with a woman and they discover a room covered with photos of her pinned to the wall.


oh my gosh maybe I am obsessed!


That being said... is there anyone out there interested in doing a summer photography group?

I imagine this would be a group of people that come together to discuss, learn and experiment with photography. People that want to learn and grow in this fine art. I would like to meet atleast every other week. You have to be in the Gilbert, AZ (or surrounding) area and you need to own a DSLR. If you are planning a vacation to AZ anytime this summer let me know we would also love to have guests to shake up the fun. I don't care how young or old you are and any level of experience is just fine. I would like to limit this group to 5 people (besides myself)... that is if there's even any interest at all.

P.S.- this is not for money but for love.

If you are interested email me at Tell me a little about yourself, how you found me and where you are on your photographic journey.

See how I thrive on excitement!!!!!!

also... more baby Brandon coming soon :) !!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


place | Goodwill

Price | $12.99

Feelings on the matter | STOKED!

It doesn't even matter that it's probably circa 1980 haha!!!!

Ok so I am no decorator but even so I have been trying my darnedest to redecorate my kids rooms. I painted two of the rooms silver sage and the other room petal pink.

We are currently working on painting some old bunk beds white. The original plan was to split the beds up and put one in one of the silver sage rooms and one in the pink room. i was dying over here because what I wanted for the pink room was a black bed, but theres just so many other things I would rather spend money on than a pretty bed that my kids will carve their names into and adorn with stickers off the bananas!

So unless anyone has any better ideas I think I will just paint my find black :)

What do you think?